Sunday, August 10, 2014

Digital Drawing Stuff

I should probably issue a geek alert here. I am about to share information that makes me pretty excited, but I may be one of a small group!  I found a new drawing app for my iPad. I have told you all about Sketch Club and ArtRage, which are both really great apps for a certain kind of digital art. They are raster programs, which create an image by laying down pixels in colors the user chooses. Pretty straightforward actually—pixels=paint.  The image above was created by a vector program, which can draw such clean, precise images because it works in an entirely different way. You draw by placing points on the screen, connected by lines that create an outline that can be manipulated into smooth curves, straight lines and corners, creating shapes that can be filled with color, including the kind of smooth gradations of color that you see in the image. It is somewhat magical and I can't begin to clearly explain it. It is the magic that drives the powerful illustration program Illustrator.  I have used Illustrator for years, but never imagined that there would be something equivalent for my iPad. 

The app is called Inkpad.  It is like a simplified version of Illustrator. And it makes me very happy!  This is something I can use for very precise illustration and drawings I can work from for designing quilts. It is not that it is better than one of the raster apps, but it serves a very different purpose. Those raster apps are more artistic, for making very lovely drawings that show the hand of the artist. Inkpad is more technical and great for design work since you can easily move elements around, copy them, rotate them, flip them, recolor them,etc, etc. Just to give you an idea of how they differ, I drew this spoon in Sketch Club:

And this one with Inkpad:

I love my iPad, folks. 

P.S. If you also love this kind of stuff, there is a terrific video about how Illustrator changed the world of graphic design.


  1. Loved the video and boy do I feel old. Rub on type, rapidiograph pens, waiting on the typesetter.... Yup, really old.

  2. Thank you! I was surprised to find that Inkpad is a free open-source app. I'll have to see whether I can learn how to use it. I don't have any experience with Illustrator or other "draw" apps.


  3. Thanks for the info! I love illustrator (use it at work) and will try Inkpad. ... Jean I remember rub on type, rapidographs and thermofax as well!

  4. Thanks! I didn't know there were any vector programs for the iPad. Y'all are bringing back memories of my early days in newspapers. We cut out copy with Exacto knives, ran it through a wax machine, then put it onto gridded sheets. And had dozens of rolls of tape with various lines to do boxes and dividers on the page. It took a lot of skill to design a newspaper page back then!

  5. I gave up on SketchPad Pro because I'm trained to use vector drawing skills. I couldn't figure out how to pick something up and move it on SketchPad.

    Inkpad looks really great, Terry; thanks for the recommendation. I'll give it a try!

  6. I made charts with tape of various widths and designs and rub-on letters of various sizes and the ubiquitous Exacto. Things have changed! I knew that vectors were used but nothing else about them. Thanks for this information. I always wondered how those illustrations and mag covers were made. Now I know.